1 Take Some Basic Snapshots
In the beginning the only photos you need to present to modeling agents and scouts are some basic snapshots. They are looking for a nice face shot (smiling and not smiling), left and right profiles of your face and body, a full length shot and a back shot. Wear form fitting clothing like skinny jeans or leggings and a simple tank top or t-shirt. If you are comfortable wearing a swimsuit then include a few swimsuit shots as well, either a one-piece or two-piece swimsuit is fine. Male models need to show the agents their fitness level so it is recommended that male models wear swim trunks or boxer shorts, or wear jeans without a shirt in at least one of their photos.
Most new models start their quest because their family and friends have said “you should be a model’, or they are the prettiest girl or guy in the school, and maybe, they have even won some local modeling competitions. That’s a great start, but it doesn’t necessarily translate into what the agencies are really looking for. It is essential that you get your modeling potential evaluated by an experienced model agent or scout before you invest too much time or money into your pursuit.
This step can get a little tricky. How do you determine whether the agent or scout who is evaluating you has the experience and knowledge to help you? Also, many new models find that they live in a smaller market where many of the agents are affiliated with a modeling school or photography studio, therefore they may not be getting an accurate evaluation if the “agency” is more interested in selling courses or photo shoots. This doesn’t mean that the agent isn’t good or that the courses or photo shoots they are offering are bad; it just means that you need to think about what is motivating them to tell you whether or not you can be a model.
3 Should You Attend a Modeling School?Get as Much Exposure as Possible
Many agencies specialize in only one particular area. Some may only represent high fashion (editorial) models, and others may only represent commercial models, or plus-size, petite or child models. If one agency is unable to represent you don’t get discouraged, it’s important that you get seen by as many agents as possible and on a routine basis.
If you live in one of the major markets you may be able to attend an open call or go-see at the agency. If you live outside one of the major markets the best way to get exposure is to send your photos to as many agencies as possible. This can be a very time consuming and expensive endeavor especially if you are making copies of all your photos and then mailing them. The cost of prints, envelopes and stamps can easily add up to over a thousand naira. Another option is to email your photos, however,thousands of photos that are emailed to model agencies every day is very easy to get lost in the mix.
4 Know the Best Modeling Market for You
The term “market” refers to the various geographical locations in which models work and earn a living. Nigeria is a “market”, Paris is “market”, Ghana is a “market”, and so on. It can also refer to the category your particular look falls in to, such as the fashion market, commercial market, plus market, or petite market.
While the supermodels like Agbani Darego or those models you see in major magazines and walking the runways for top clients generally work in every market, there are many successful models who only work in one or two markets. So, even though you may not get represented by an agency
in your base, you could very well be perfect for other African markets. An experienced mother agent can help guide you to the right market for your particular look.
Becoming a professional model is a process. It rarely happens overnight. Even the models who say “I was just walking down the street one day and the next I was on the cover of Vogue” are exaggerating.
Becoming a professional model takes time; for some it takes less time and for others it may take a little more. Many of today’s top models didn’t get signed to an agency the first time out of the gate. In fact, supermodel Gisele Bundchen was turned down over 40 times before she was finally signed to an agency.